In an alarming report released this week, half of all high school students admit to bullying someone in the past year, and almost as many say they’ve been the victim of bullying.
“Ethics of American Youth” asked more than 43,000 high school students around the country whether they had been physically abused, teased or taunted in a way that upset them. Forty-three percent said yes, and 50 percent admitted to doing the bullying.
Bullying Doesn’t Peak At Middle School
The survey was released by the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute of Ethics, whose president, Michael Josephson, said that the study revealed that bullying goes on at later ages than previously thought, and remains prevalent at high school.
Some other findings from the report:
* Bullying is just as common at public and private high schools
* 10 percent of teens admitted bringing a weapon to school at least once
* 16 percent of teens admitted being drunk at school at least once
Tragic Teen Suicides
We’ve reported here on the tragedy of several teen suicides related to bullying that have occurred this year, including the case of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, who took her own life in January, and 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death last month.
The silver lining here is that bullying has jumped to the forefront for many educators, especially with the realization that the Internet has turned bullying into the even more deadly cyberbullying. “It’s the difference between punching someone and stabbing him,” said Josephson. “The wounds are so much deeper.”
Warning From The Obama Administration
In response to this concern, the U.S. Department of Education last Tuesday sent letters to schools, colleges and universities around the country, advising them that failing to adequately address ethnic, sexual or gender-based harassment could put them in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.
Well, that’s at least a start.
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